On 12/30/2010 2:14 AM, Grant Saviers wrote:
> I've been looking for aluminum clad steel wire for an antenna project
> and this led finally to a source for aluminum clad high tensile steel
> ($90 for 3000' 11 ga). Certainly a LOT cheaper than copper or
> copperweld alternatives.
> It took quite a bit of googling to find this, but now the question is
> why not use this for all wire antennas because it is cheap, very
> strong, low-stretch, and corrosion resistant,
Corrosion resistant is a *relative* term. It is resistant, not corrosion
proof. Even though there are NO power, or chemical plants within a 100
miles to the SW (prevailing wind direction at least 50% of the time)
even copper weld is brown with in 1 to 2 years. Clean it to solder and
it's just bare steel.
In this atmosphere I doubt Aluminum would fare as well. Yet my step
daughter and grand daughter have horses fenced in with the Al clad and
it appears to do well just a few feet off the ground.
Use split nuts and a dielectric compound, Never-seeze, or even Noalox
and then weatherproof the joint.
As Al is verboten for electrical work *except* from the meter to the
panel, I doubt (but I haven't checked) if the local electrical suppliers
would have anything useful. Hard drawn copper is good and particularly
so with #10-14, but that's fast approaching the point where the weight
becomes a problem. There is little substitute for copper clad or Al
Clad steel when going with long antennas that are center fed. There is a
LOT of sag even in a half wave, center fed, 75 meter sloping dipole when
hanging RG-8 size cable and a balun from the center. That means a LOT of
tension on the antenna to keep it half way straight. Yet if you have the
height, you can pull a copper clad dipole *nearly* straight, but it'll
take a strong and well guyed tower to hold it.
I figure my slopers have close to 400# tension on them which is just
200# under the guy line tension.
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